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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Written on: Saturday March 21st, 2015

A journal entry from: South Africa, Europe 2015

Still driving north along the edge of the Kalahari desert in Botswana we reached Nata, a place where we were able to see the salt pans (marshes), home to an amazing number of migrating birds including, storks, pelicans and pink flamingos. We continued further north on the Botswanan very straight but somewhat bumpy roads, finally reaching our furthermost destination, Chobe National Park. This is an immense park containing vast numbers of elephants as well as numerous hippos, crocodiles and cape buffalo.We took a sunset boat cruise and were able to see many of these animals from a very close range. Our group agrees that, after seeing these animals in their natural environment, we never want to ever visit a zoo again. The country of Botswana itself is a beacon of political stability in this sometimes chaotic continent . The people we talked to seemed very happy with their lives and particularly stressed how proud they were to live in a place where racial harmony is highly prized. This is not at all the case in Zimbabwe the next country that we visited. From being what was once called the breadbasket of Africa this country now ranks among the poorest on the continent under the kleptocracy of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president for life. Even from the window of the truck we are able to see the difference between the relatively prosperous villages in Botswana and the grinding poverty of rural Zimbabwe. The immense worldwide popularity of Victoria Falls has kept it isolated from the hardships that afflict the rest of the country. Aside from viewing the amazing falls tourists are offered a huge range of first world activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, zip lining and for older types such as ourselves having tea at the Victoria Hotel Falls Hotel.